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Abstract

In the 1960s, Walter Mischel conducted the first study on delayed gratification behavior (Goleman, 1995; Mischel, Shoda & Rodriquez, 1989). Since then, many other follow-up studies have been done to prove what sociologists call ‘the delayed gratification pattern’ (see Funder, Block & Block; Logue & Chavarro 1992). These studies propose that participants who are able to delay gratification around of the age of four were better adjusted and more dependable during their adult lives. Studies conducted to assist participants who were unable to delay gratification could not be uncovered. In this study, researchers invited parents and teachers to use intervention techniques over a one school year period to shape waiting behavior among 100 first year elementary school children who were unable to delay gratification for 20 minutes in an initial experiment. Eight follow-up experiments/observations were conducted increasing waiting time from 20 minutes by intervals of 5-minutes in each new observation period up to 1 hour one school year later to access whether intervention techniques used by parents and teachers were effective. Using basic descriptions statistics, findings reveal that there was an overall increase of participants’ ability to wait for 20 minutes by 58% at the 4th week, 86% at the 21st week, and 70.96% at the 34th week.

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